Alternative rock group The Adams come back after 13 years, exploring new sonic territories.
I should preface this review with a disclaimer that I was involved with this album and band, and so my judgment might not be totally unbiased. But having seen various end-of-year lists on websites and social media in which the album consistently features, I feel justified to recommend it.
“Agterplaas” is one of those rare albums that manages to accomplish so many things at once. It preserves The Adams’ signature alternative rock sound without coming off like a retread of their previous work. It sees them venture into new sonic territory without feeling contrived. It stands up to their old material while also introducing the band to a new generation of fans who weren’t around for their mid-2000s heyday. The music is complex and sophisticated but the songs remain catchy and accessible.
Since it’s been 13 years since The Adams last released an album, the lyrics now deal with weightier topics more befitting a band of 30-something family men. There are songs about departed loved ones (“Dalam Doa”) and overcoming future anxiety (“Timur”) that are delivered in somber yet uplifting ways. On the other hand, the band is also still capable of causing a ruckus if “Pelantur” is any indication.
All in all, it’s a successful comeback for The Adams. I’ve always felt that – for whatever reason – the band hasn’t had the respect reserved for their peers such as Sore, The Upstairs, White Shoes and the Couples Company, and Efek Rumah Kaca. But with Agterplaas, they have elevated themselves to that level, while also raising the bar for other bands to reach.
– Hasief Ardiasyah
Stream “Agterplaas” LP on Spotify.